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Book Review: Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! by Mo Willems

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As part of a Children’s Readathon on my blog in August 2018, Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! by Mo Willems was selected as one of the award-winning books to read. It took home the Caldecott Honor Award in 2004. Since I’d just finished my children’s education courses in college right before then, I never had a chance to read this one. It was a first-time experience thanks to the lovely Nina @ The Cozy Pages; she suggested this wonderful book.makes a difference in their lives! 4.5 stars for this one!

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A pigeon driving a bus? Well.. it’s very cute and part of a whole series involving experiences the pigeon goes through. I must read more of them! In this adorable picture book, the bus driver needs to step away from the bus. He tells everyone not to let the pigeon drive the bus. As soon as the driver leaves, the pigeon tries his or her best to convince everyone to let him drive. But they won’t give him, so he never gets to do it! When he jumps off in frustration, the driver returns and leaves without the poor pigeon!

What a lesson for kids. Peer pressure. Bad attitudes. Silliness. Safety. Keeping quiet. All the things to show why it’s good not to ‘give in’ to someone just because they try to get you to do something.

If you’ve not seen the series or heard of them, check it out! Buy a copy for a kid you know… it’s what

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. I write A LOT. I read A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge – words and humor. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

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Book Review: Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown

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Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown is one of the books that followers of my blog voted as a must-read for our Children’s Book August 2018 Readathon. Come check it out and join the next few weeks!

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This picture book was such a delight. I hadn’t remembered reading it when I was a child, but it might have been read to me… either way, it was like a whole new experience! It’s always so difficult to convince a child to fall asleep at night. I don’t have kids, but I do have a 5-month-old puppy who whines for 5 minutes every night when he goes in his cage/crate (hopefully he’ll be fully housebroken soon so he can roam around when he wants). I can only imagine! I babysat a lot as a teenager and I have tons of younger cousins, nieces, and nephews, so I’ve been through it before, too. This was a believable experience, and it really helps show kids how to relax and just let go when it’s time to sleep.

The bunny’s are adorable. The rhymes are exquisite. I found it pretty fun, but possibly a little dated given many of those things aren’t normal routines anymore. But the lessons to take from it are still powerful. Loved it! I want to sample some more books by this fine author and her illustrators.

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. I write A LOT. I read A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge – words and humor. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

Book Review: Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

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Where the Wild Things Are written and illustrated by Maurice Sendak in 1963 was a Caldecott Medal winner the year after it was published. I treasured this book in elementary school when I played the lead in our school play (okay, co-lead with another kid so we didn’t have to work too hard). I wrote a review a few years ago from memory, then explored it during my college years when I studied children’s literature and language. Now, in August 2018, I’m hosting a Children’s Book Readathon on my blog. Come check it out!

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I read the book twice this week. Once to absorb it as a fresh set of eyes, then again to see what I liked and didn’t like. On the whole, I still love it. I also see how it could encourage a few bad behaviors, but then again, so can movies, overhearing conversations, and music. Books are about learning. It’s important to read them with a child at the appropriate age and use it was a way to teach what’s wrong and right. For those reasons, I highly recommend sharing this with kids from 6 to 8. Younger might understand it. Older might find it amusing. But that’s the sweet spot in my opinion.

Max doesn’t like being told what to do. He just runs around a lot. I have a 5-month-old puppy named Baxter who’s just like Max. I get frustrated, but I love him. I’ve put him in time-out. Max was sent to bed without supper. I can only imagine where Baxter goes in his imagination… if it’s anything like where Max goes, we’re in for trouble!

So glad to re-read this one!

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. I write A LOT. I read A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge – words and humor. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

July 2018 – Author Newsletter & FREEBIE coming up!

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Hi. Today I emailed my quarterly author newsletter to everyone in my email distribution list. Below is a copy in case you are interested in reading. To subscribe, please go to my website. Thanks for reading and sharing with everyone. Have a great day.

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Happy Summer! I can’t believe this year is more than half over and this is my third quarterly newsletter. I’m excited to share all the news going on in my literary and personal life. Let’s cover the big stuff from last quarter:

  • Watching Glass Shatter was offered as a FREE download for 5 days. In the first week after this promotion, book reviews on Amazon and Goodreads increased by 15% with multiple 5 and 4 star awards!
  • Father Figure, my second novel, was launched with great success. It’s been available for 4 months and has been doing very well. Check out the blog tour and book blitz promotions.
  • I committed to reading 104 books on my Goodreads 2018 Challenge. I finished in early August. Rather than increase it to 150, I’ll leave it as it stands, but that’s my new goal! How’d you do?

Let’s talk about what’s coming up later this year!

  • A 2019 sequel focusing on all the drama the Glass family encounters after Olivia revealed everyone’s secrets at the end of the first book. Savvy readers will remember she never actually told the truth of what was in the second letter, but rest assured, it’ll come full circle again.
  • A short story collection is in the works for 2018! Based on your input in the ‘Favorite Character’ poll, Ethan Glass will be the focus of the first short story, due out in October 2018.
  • Details about my third book were released. Academic Curve Ball, the debut in a new series entitled Braxton Campus Mysteries will be available for pre-order in September 2018. Description below:
  • Kellan Ayrwick, a 32-year-old single father, moved to LA to escape his complicated but lovable family. When Kellan requests time off to attend a party for his father’s retirement from Braxton College, his boss assigns him to meet with Abby Monroe, a source for their upcoming tv series who happens to live nearby. Unfortunately, while Kellan’s socializing at the campus event, he finds Abby’s dead body in a stairwell at Diamond Hall. Although Kellan’s family and friends are all on the suspect list, he’s compelled to investigate once he learns about a mysterious donation to the college, a nasty blog denouncing his father, and fluctuating grades to allow the star baseball pitcher to play in the season opener. As Kellan settles back into his hometown and finds a second body on campus, his eccentric and trouble-making nana helps him weed through the clues. Is it the shady director of the athletic teams? A victim’s soon-to-be ex-husband? A player desperate to be noticed by an MLB scout? Kellan’s intent on solving the case just a smidge before the county sheriff, but that win might just put him in even more dangerous hot water. Readers discover a cozy, secluded Pennsylvania village full of quirky, charming, and nosy residents. Among the daily workings of Braxton College and the memorable Ayrwick family, Kellan weighs his investigative talents against an opportunity to achieve a much sought-after dream. Is he ready to move back home, take a job as a professor at the college, and re-unite with a former girlfriend? Or will he return to LA to raise his young daughter away from all the chaos?

Book Review: Oh, the Places You’ll Go by Dr. Seuss

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Earlier this summer, I decided to host a children’s book readathon in August 2018. All month long, we’re reading about a dozen books, then sharing reviews, interviews and feedback. This first week is ‘picture books’ and we voted on our top three books to read. Oh, The Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss is one of the winners. I read the book as a kid and wrote a review a few years ago, but I re-read this week and am sharing a second review.

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Dr. Seuss has always been a favorite. This is the first time I’ve re-read one of his books since I’ve written and published a few of my own. I caught myself analyzing the book way too much while I was reading thinking some of the rhymes were stilted or forced. I would have changed a few words around and used a different rhyme choice. Then I slapped myself. This is such a fun book and I should sit back to enjoy it, not pick it apart! I rarely do that, so I’m not sure why it happened here… other than it’s such an amazing approach for helping kids (or adults!) deal with change in their life. I must have wanted to take it even further (farther? see, that’s why I shouldn’t judge!)… that’s when I got my head on straight and fell in love all over again with the book.

Life is hard. Bad things happen. You have to push past them or you’ll be unhappy and miss out. That’s the key message we need to understand from here. At graduation, or major life changes, kids worry that things might not work out. This is an opportunity to show how you learn from those fears and moments. I would love to listen to this one on audio just to hear all the noises and sounds of how the narrator thinks. The illustrations were fun and immersive. I definitely recommend this as a gift for those graduating from middle school or high school. It can also be read to younger kids to help them prepare.

This readathon is so much fun! I hope more folks will join. Thanks.

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. I write A LOT. I read A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge – words and humor. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

Book Review: Sister of Mine by Laurie Petrou

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I requested Sister of Mine by Laurie Petrou from NetGalley earlier this year after the publisher, Crooked Lane Books, contacted me about this new 2018 release. It sounded fantastic, so I added it to my August 2018 TBR queue. I enjoyed this family drama with a few twists and look forward to more from the author.
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Fires are dangers. Sometimes they burn out. Sometimes they kill people. And even worse, sometimes, they’re deliberate. From the very beginning, you know something bad happened between these two sisters, but you don’t truly find out the extent until close to the end of the novel. Along the way, they fight over a man, raise a child together, learn how to hate and love one another… all the while trying to live a normal life. Is that even possible after all they’ve been through?

Petrou is a new author for me, and I’m glad to have connected with her book. I enjoyed the writing style and the in-depth analysis of the relationship between Hattie and Penny. I immediately liked one and disliked the other, but my attachments waffled a few times before the end. A good author can cause readers to doubt what they’re thinking… then bring it all together with a final and powerful ending. While it was powerful, I’m not sure I liked the ending for this one, if I’m being honest. I felt it could have gone a different way, but I still enjoyed the entire ride.

Kudos to the author and publisher. I will look for more from Laurie Petrou and recommend this as a good book to read one weekend… or by a nice cozy fire!

 

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. I write A LOT. I read A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge – words and humor. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

Book Review: Quinsey Wolfe’s Glass Vault by Candace Robinson

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After reading/reviewing a book co-written by Candace Robinson earlier this year, I immediately added another of her independently written books, Quinsey Wolfe’s Glass Vault, to my summer reading queue. Mid-way through the book, I learned it’s a series and book two will be coming out in about a week (8/17/18). One thing’s for sure… Robinson is fantastic at writing YA/NA characters and story lines that appeal to a wide variety of reader types. I’m not normally a fantasy reader, but this is a prime example of why I could love the genre. From wicked twists on fairy tales to utterly shocking characters, I’m all in for the series!

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The debut in this series starts off rather quiet. A few people are missing, but no one’s super worried. Best friends Maisie and Perrie are in their own world about to graduate from high school. Perrie’s angry with her former boyfriend for doing something and she’s now making googly eyes at a new boy named August. Suddenly, people they know begin to disappear, including some from their own small group. At the same time, a mysterious museum pops up, but it’s made of stone and couldn’t just appear out of no where, could it? When Perrie finally gets into the building, everything changes. Imagine large snow globe-like glass objects with cute little scenes… imagine being inside them and meeting people you thought were only fictional characters! So… that’s all I will say as even that might be considered a bit of a spoiler, but in my opinion, that’s the exact reason why someone will pick up the book.

Effortless reading. It’s not quite a suspenseful thriller as much as it is an immersive must-read to understand what’s happening type of book. The rules aren’t clear yet, but we know from the prologue, there’s evil lurking somewhere inside someone — we just don’t know who it is. You’ll be drawn in from the beginning. You’ll care more about the story and the plot than the characters, as to me, this is all about how’s it gonna turn out? A fairy tale ending or complete and crazy destruction? Robinson’s writing style is strong and I wholeheartedly recommend diving into this book. I’ve already secured a copy of the second book and I will be reading it next month. Care to join?

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. I write A LOT. I read A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge – words and humor. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.